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Martinborough: Spatial plan to be adopted

Martinborough as shown in the South Wairarapa District Council’s spatial plan. IMAGE/SUPPLIED

South Wairarapa councillors are set to adopt the district’s spatial plan today. Local Democracy Reporter EMILY IRELAND looks at what that means for Martinborough.

The population of Martinborough is set to grow by 600 people over the next 30 years.

And South Wairarapa District Council’s [SWDC] soon-to-be approved spatial plan will make way for the development of about 700 new homes to address this and accommodate for future growth.

Some of this development involves intensification of central Martinborough in the area bounded by Cologne St, Broadway St, Venice St, and Sackville St.

The option could create up to 71 new lots and some could be just 150m2 in size.

While affordability and choice were the main matters raised in Martinborough through consultation earlier this year, the intensification option resulted in the most conflict.

Submitters said increasing the density in the town centre would be a good option in principle as it was closer to all services and provides people with choice, but others had concerns that increased density would result in a loss of small-town character.

A report to SWDC said an increase in density could be achieved without reducing the character of the town by establishing design guidelines.

“The current commercial area within the town centre is covered by heritage guidelines, whereby any addition, alteration or new build requires resource consent to ensure the design of the building is complementary to the heritage values and surrounding buildings within this area,” the report said.

“A design guide would enhance the current District Plan Provisions.

“Design guides have been successful in balancing growth and retention of heritage/small town feel in places such as Arrowtown, Waihi, Kerikeri.”

Councillors met yesterday to discuss and adopt the draft spatial plan, after consultation with the South Wairarapa community.

They have been asked to adopt a combination option for Martinborough, consisting of 150-200m2 lots in the centre of town, 500m2 lots in the existing residential area and in new areas on Regent and Roberts St, and residential lifestyle blocks [2000-4000m2] in the outskirts of town near Oxford St.

There would also be 36 hectares freed up for the development of about 400 homes in the vicinity of Ferry Rd.

The housing crisis has affected Martinborough in a unique way to other Wairarapa areas.

Martinborough recorded median house prices in 2020 of just over $700,000.

This makes it difficult for key workers such as seasonal workers, those employed in hospitality, and young people to find affordable accommodation, including affordable rentals.

Overall, the main theme that emerged for Martinborough through the consultation process earlier this year was that mid-residential land was the top priority followed by choice for all current and future residents.

Almost 150 submissions were received with 54 per cent in support of the proposed combined option.

Design characteristics, specific lot sizes, and infrastructure development and costings would be undertaken as part of the structure and master planning process to follow.

Master planning was set to happen in the next two years. —NZLDR

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